01/12/2021 - World AIDS Day, Maliwada Bus Stand, Ahmednagar, a tribute to those who have died from HIV/AIDS.
World AIDS Day was first observed by James W. Boone and Thomas Knitter in Geneva, Switzerland in 1988. The day is celebrated on December 1 each year to raise awareness about AIDS and its transmission. The United Nations has declared that this is also a day of mourning for those who have died of AIDS.
We also mark the occasion each year with a range of activities including awareness-raising rallies, our unique HIV match-making program, health advice and HIV management with health workers, NACO, students and other influential people who can help dispel the myths and discrimination around HIV/AIDS and work with us to prevent further infections in our communities.
1 December 2021
This World AIDS Day, our Snehjyot team organised a public awareness program at Maliwada, one of the main bus stands in Ahmednagar. Our Snehjyot Project Coordinator, Deepak Buram, provided vital information to the beneficiary group and the community about HIV/AIDS. Pravin Mutyal, our Health Director added that to reduce the fear of HIV / AIDS in our minds, we must put up awareness boards in public places and raise awareness of the government schemes available to PLHA. A candle was lit to pay homage to PLHA.
“World AIDS Week is about raising awareness about the virus and paying tribute to those who have died as a result. The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), New Delhi, aims to raise awareness this year with the slogan 'End Inequality.’ Ending AIDS means ending inequality. The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations, and other partner organizations are trying to address the growing inequality in services for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) by focusing on those that our services do not reach.”
Mr Shivaji Jadhav
“The infection spreads many diseases, and it is impossible to develop a vaccine. AIDS is one of them. HIV Preventive measures must be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
It takes time to eradicate the HIV / AIDS virus.”
Dr Ashana Sayyed, Health Officer, Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation.
This was followed by awareness rallies in Jamkhed, Rahuri and Rahta villages, jointly organised by Jamkhed and Disha Integrated Counseling and Screening Center. In the introduction of the program, Yogesh Abdule, another Project Coordinator, stressed that it is essential to create awareness among the youth about HIV/AIDS and appealed to them appealed to come forward to help us eradicate HIV. Snehalaya has set up a pioneering work on issues of women and children and is working to raise awareness in high-risk areas to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“In today's age of technology, youth should work harder to create a new nation-building vision in the minds of Indian citizens about health by conducting more discussion on HIV/AIDS.”
"According to WHO, the number of people living with HIV / AIDS increased from 1990 to 2000. The only way to curb AIDS is through prevention and public awareness. Snehalaya has set up pioneering work on this and the youth should follow this ideal and engage in this awareness work. Life will be successful if you choose a symbiotic partner by recognizing the feelings in your mind without choosing based on caste."
Civil Judge Rajnikant Jagtap
2 December 2021
Each year Snehalaya hosts a unique, state-level matchmaking program for people living with HIV/AIDS. Shivaji Jadhav, District Program Officer, District AIDS Prevention & Control Unit (DAPCU), spoke at the inaugural function of our annual bride-to-be introductory meet program for people living with HIV/AIDS. They are aspiring for coexistence, organized by Snehalaya on HIV / AIDS Week.
“The health condition of an infected person is better if they follow a proper diet and treatment regime. We can live for a hundred years if we keep our mental balance right without thinking negatively. ART helps PLHA manage the virus and the government is working to make life easier for those infected. HIV/AIDS becomes life-threatening when there is a lack of coordination between the adjustment, barriers, communication and education regarding the condition leading to negligence. Life will be victorious if PLHA choose a life partner by recognising their feelings instead of basing their choice on caste.”
Mr Prashant Yende informed the government about the HIV / AIDS infected people in Maharashtra, and the government has taken many initiatives to brighten their future. He appealed to all to choose their cohabitation partner in the right way without fear. Mr Dagdu Lomte added that our beauty is our sorrow and we should live our next bright life by openly accepting it without hiding our sorrows. Praveen Mutyal provided information on Snehalaya’s services and future planning for PLHA, mainly provided by our Caring Friends Hospital & Research Center. He requested PLHA to contact the Child Welfare Committee immediately if they need any assistance from any government scheme.
More than 400 HIV+ people from different districts were introduced to each other and their relatives who accompanied the potential marriage matches. Seven couples met their match and a community wedding ceremony was organized for 15 December at Snehalaya.
The same day, our Peer Educators and Outreach Workers visited the red-light areas we operate in to meet our beneficiaries and inform them about World AIDS Week while also distributing red ribbons which they wore with pride.
Shrirampur Sub-District Hospital and Snehjyot Unit-2 Project jointly organised an AIDS Awareness Program at Ashok Nagar Arts and Commerce College.
The same day a Veer Ranaragini Women's Gathering and Corona Vaccination Campaign in Ahmednagar with 87 women vaccinated against corona.
A meet for HIV-positive women was held at our district office in Shrirampur. The assembled women were given their ART medication along with CD4 and viral load tests as wekl as advice on the benefits of ART and the importance of healthy diets and lifestyles, including regular exercise and timely medication. Information on the government schemes available to PLHA was also provided.
The same day, another Veer Ranaragini Women's Gathering and Corona Vaccination Campaign was held at the Cultural Folk Drama Arts Center in Jamkhed. Our Snehjyot Project Coordinator, Yogesh Abdule, spoke on HIV/AIDS and Tamasha Artists and how Snehalaya has been working with the HIV/AIDS community for the last three decades raising awareness of the viruses.
He spoke how PLHA need to be treated equally and our work to support their children. He also shared our social awareness work with female sex workers, homosexuals, stakeholders, PLHA and other areas of society. He appealed to all to unite for the prevention of HIV and to unite for the betterment of society. He also advised that Tamasha artists should be more vigilant with regular health check-ups and their audiences should be more health-conscious and aware of the risks of AIDS.
Rajesh Mishra, Counselor, Disha Integrated Counseling and Screening Center, said that there is a need for greater attention to eradicate HIV/AIDS and those engaging in high-risk sexual practices should be fully aware of AIDS prevention and raise their voices against AIDS.
Pravin Ahiwale of the District Hospital examined the health of 62 female performers, and Kishor Borade of Jamkhed Rural Hospital vaccinated 41 women.
At a Gulabi Melava and Health Camp for MSM brothers and Transgenders in Shevgaon, Mr Alim Shaikh explained the purpose behind celebrating World HIV/AIDS Week and Mr Deepak Buram provided vital information to the beneficiary group and the community about the HIV / AIDS virus infection. Mr Dadasaheb Kakade gave information about the importance of the Corona virus vaccination and the need to put up awareness boards in public places to reduce the fear of HIV/AIDS. 36 HIV tests and 41 RMCs were completed.
At our Mahila Veer Ranaragini Melava in Shrirampur. Mr Yashwant Kurapati explained the purpose behind celebrating World HIV / AIDS Day and Mr Prasanna Bingi gave vital information to the beneficiary group and the community about HIV/AIDS and the importance of Corona virus vaccinations. Guest speaker, Advocate Archana Zade also gave legal information to and information about women's rights and entitlements. Advocate Shilpa Bingi also introduced the various government schemes available to women and spoke about family shares, government insurance policies, e-labor cards, etc. She covered what needs to be done to secure these things, which officers are appointed and in which office they can be found as well as addressing the provisions of court on various issues of women. She added that if an educated woman can make her whole family educated and cultured.
Another MSM Gulabi Melava was held at the Shirdi office with Counselor Bhite of Shirdi ICC as chief guest providing health information. Yashwant Kurapati provided information about Snehalaya and 24 beneficiaries were tested for HIV. Shirdi ICTC Technician Shaikh Sir was also present.
Love was in the air at the home of love as two matched couples tied the knot after meeting at our match-making program on 2 December.
“It is essential to bring people from the marginalized sections of society together. Society needs to support orphans by maintaining social sentiment. In this regard, by organizing community marriages of orphaned destitute couples, Snehalaya has taken a revolutionary step which has inspired a social development.”
Mrs Ranitai Lanke, Zilla Parishad Member & Zilla Planning Board Member
While blessing the newlyweds, Mrs Lanke appealed for them to follow a proper diet, treatment, and care regime. She thanked Snehalaya for organizing such a wonderful and unique event.
A total of six brides and grooms had found spouses, out of which two were married in a big way at our Home of Love. The brides were from Snehalaya and the grooms were from Mumbai and Satara districts. As not all of the brides and grooms’ relatives were present, our supporters Milind Kulkarni, Santosh Gaikwad and other sensitive citizens filled this gap.
This community wedding ceremony is organized on HIV/AIDS Week every year, said Anil Gawade, Senior Ass. Director, Snehalaya who also gave a summary of all the HIV/AIDS Week-related activities held from 1 to 15 December 2021. Many supporters, including Rohini Pawar, Santosh Gaikwad, Sachin Pathare, Sonali Lohkare attended the ceremony and many donors such as Vijay Shelamkar donated wedding gift items for the happy couples.